pulses. ‘bouquet.’ | Track by Track

pulses.

bouquet. is out now.

This is mental. Self described as ‘post-hardcore and whatever’, Dumfries, Virginia based quartet pulses. essentially throw any caution to the wind to meld the metal tinged funk of mid period Chili Peppers, early Jane’s Addiction, and early Incubus, with an emo / screamo tinged brand of post-hardcore that is danceable, confrontational, loads of fun, and filled with melodies and bizarre rap inspired skits. You’ve never heard anything like this. I’ve never heard anything like this. You have to have a listen.

With this in mind, we had to get onto the band to ask them what in the name of God possessed them to do what they do. Expect mentions of Dragonball Z, Justin Bieber, and getting stuck in dorm rooms during storms. My favourite bit, screams of “Aqua! Berry! Cherry!” during ‘I Drink Juice’.

Check out our Creative Process podcast featuring interviews with the Melvins, Unsane, Rosetta, and loads of others.

bouquet.

We were all just sitting around and discussing what kind of image we were going for and floral seemed to be a vibe we wanted. Taylor (from I Drink Juice) suggested a bouquet for the album cover and we thought that would sound good as the title of the whole thing since it’s an interesting sounding word. As for how the art plays into the name, the bouquet. is comprised of 4 specific flowers representing each one of us. Cosmos are Caleb’s since he used to plant as a kid with our mom, Danny’s are venus fly traps because of the harsh vocals, David’s are geraniums because they’re commonly called Crane’s bills and that’s his last name, and mine are zinnias because I like them. Birds have been our thing from the jump so we had the artist Andrés Tencio draw up an original one for us to pair with the bouquet.

1. Back By Popular Demand

We dig artists like Cameo and Bell Biv Devoe and felt like new jack swing is underrepresented in the experimentation of post-hardcore these days. A lot of bands will take inspiration from R&B/funk but entirely miss that era, which pretty much defined a decade. The rap verse was directly inspired by southern hip hop; “it’s like ABC / simple as 123” is a direct reference to Int’l Players Anthem by UGK & Outkast (which is in turn a reference to ABC by Jackson 5). It’s the first of many pulls we’ve made from other music we enjoy. Lyrically, it behaves similar to the new jack swing topics of courting someone, but it’s toward someone listening to our album.

2. I Drink Juice (Aquaberry Cherry)

To write this song, we made sure to use our resources and by that I mean we googled “how to write a song” and followed the steps on the first link. This song is not about alcohol, not about sauce, not about being cool, it’s about juice. There’s an episode of Donald Glover’s Atlanta where the main character Earn says that he drinks juice. The whole point of the song is to sound like you’re hard but you’re not because you drink juice. The skit is inspired by R&B skits like the ones on Burn by Usher and You Don’t Know My Name by Alicia Keys; smooth sultry background vocals and low, sensual talking. Juice is dope.

3. The Message Is Clear

The earliest song written off the album; we had this on our first demo EP and wanted to bring it back and refresh it. It’s Fall of Troy inspired and indicated where we wanted to go stylistically as a band back then. Lyrically, we couldn’t really tell you what it’s about, but there are references to Fetty Wap, Dragonball Z and the Why You Lying meme if you’re cool enough to catch them.

4. 6!

6! Was the first single for the album, the first song we wrote after the EP and the 6th song we ever wrote. These lyrics were written in the black forest in Germany. There really isn’t any connect to the black forest but we think that’s tight. Musically, the song came together from a jam session and to maintain that jam feel, we made it quick and to the point. Like the exclamation! We just wanted the listener to feel excited so that’s why it’s 6! 6 factorial is 720.

5. What’s Good (What’s Really Good)

We wrote this on the fly, after staying up ‘til 4AM. The ‘feeling inside’ is the same feeling that your mom gets when she hears an old school jam by Luther Vandross on the radio when she hasn’t in a minute. It’s that “ooohhhhh, you don’t know nothin’ ‘bout this good music, boy!” type of feeling. The feeling can be frightening if you’ve never felt it. Once it’s been dealt with, you feel like you’ve been touched by something angelic. It’s a James Brown type number, we want you to get up on the good foot. Oh jeez, good god. RIP Vine.

6. Vice Versace

The song title came from a typo of vice versa in our group chat. We wrote the lyrics based around what we thought a song called Vice Versace would sound like. It’s a self celebratory stunting song, everyone needs to be a little arrogant sometimes. We threw a nod to the Property Brothers, made some lines referring to each other and interpolated some lines from Drake’s Marvins Room and Justin Bieber’s Baby. The song is just a trip through funk adaptations and intentionally doesn’t have a chorus. We wanted a progressive punk pop feel.

7. Something Serious

Overwatch has been one of our favorite games lately so you know we had to do it to em. It’s a song about Genji fighting Ana and Pharah comes in to save the day. We went for another Fall of Troy feel on the verses but light and bouncy on the choruses. A combination of erratic and danceable. This song was one of the last songs written for the album and almost didn’t make it, but now we love it so much. Remember to get on the payload!

8. untitled.

The lyrics came first to this song; after a tragic event in late 2016, one late night produced a stream of consciousness that was confusing and dark. Caleb, our guitarist, took these lyrics into a dark bedroom and wrote the entire guitar track in one 30 minute sitting. The rest of the song quickly finished itself. We decided to go strictly harsh vocals on this one to keep the vibe dark. We need the low to appreciate the high and this is the song to get those negative emotions out of the way.

9. 21st Night

Written on the night of September 21st, 2016, the song was written in one sitting after a rough day of classes in college. It’s a reference to the legendary Earth, Wind and Fire track and explores the juxtaposition of EWF’s happiness with the anxiousness of that day. Some of the lyrics are interpolated but generally it’s about the bleakness of that day but trying to overcome it. If untitled. is the rage, 21st Night is it subsiding. Generally the song takes a lot of inspiration from Kanye West’s Runaway.

10. Big, If True

This is the last song we wrote for the album. The main influence for this one was the band tricot; we wanted a light hearted jam. Vocal flows were inspired by Lil B and A$AP Ferg. Lyrically, it’s about us and how we’ve advanced as band. We interpolate the first song we ever wrote as band, The Appetizer, on the bridge as a way to look back and grab what we hold dear. The structure of the song actually matches the structure for The Appetizer as well. The big, if true line comes from how we think certain things about ourselves but the outcome would only be big if it was true.

11. You Already Know

Caleb started writing this song during a winter storm during his freshmen year. He got stuck in his dorm by himself for 5 days straight since his roommate escaped. The first three sections got written quickly but it took 5 months to actually finish it; he waited until he was done with the semester. This was the beginning of us having a hip hop influence in our music with the intro rap verse, Danny’s flows being rap-based and the interpolation of Kendrick Lamar’s Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe on the closing. The song is about internal conflict and overcoming yourself.

12. Forever / Endeavor

Here’s a list of references and influences on this track: Tree Village by Dance Gavin Dance, Lil B the BasedGod, milly rocking, Cory Lockwood of A Lot Like Birds, The Mixture by Volumes, metalcore breakdowns, XO Tour Llif3 by Lil Uzi Vert and rappers that use the ayy flow. Generally the song is just about the Tree Village reference; it flips the line from being sad about happiness being hard to find, into something much more positive and hopeful. We wanted close the album out on a real solid happy note. The album is bookended in vibe and in reference.

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  • Mert Eren Yurttaş

    It was very fun to read. I love the music so mushh. I hope they make more